04 Jan 2019: UPSC Exam Comprehensive News Analysis

TABLE OF CONTENTS

A. GS1 Related
B. GS2 Related
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. Many Swachh Bharat toilets defunct, unusable: MPs’ panel
2. Law ministry response to the Parliamentary Standing Committee
3. ‘RERAs will be toothless without judicial powers’
C. GS3 Related
ECONOMY
1. Graft, securing funding main challenges for start-ups: study
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. China’s probe lands on far side of moon, sends images
2. Meet the ‘snowman’ floating in space
D. GS4 Related
E. Editorials
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
1. Dark side of the moon (Chang’e-4 spacecraft)
POLITY AND GOVERNANCE
1. A case of unprincipled criminalisation (Triple Talaq Bill)
F. Tidbits
1. SC shocked at chaining of inmates in U.P. mental asylum
2. Yogi’s fresh fiat to District Magistrates on stray cattle
3. Child care homes don’t paint a rosy picture
4. Maggi: SC revives suit against Nestle
G. Prelims Fact
1. Improved Light Combat Aircraft gets green light for production
2. Go for Kadaknath chicken, scientist advises Team India
H. UPSC Prelims Practice Questions
I. UPSC Mains Practice Questions

A. GS1 Related

Nothing here today!!!

B. GS2 Related

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. Many Swachh Bharat toilets defunct, unusable: MPs’ panel

Context

  • Many toilets constructed under the Swachh Bharat Mission have already become defunct and unusable, according to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Rural Development. It slammed the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for not bothering to find out the scope of the problem, despite an earlier recommendation to conduct a survey.
  • “Till the time the problem of toilets becoming dysfunctional is not tackled seriously by the Ministry, the objective of full household sanitation coverage in the entire rural areas of the country by October 2, 2019, would remain a distant dream,” said the committee in its report on the action taken by the government on earlier recommendations, which was presented to Parliament earlier this week.

Swacch Bharat Abhiyan

  • Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a campaign which was launched on 2 October 2014, and aims to eradicate open defecation by 2019, and is a national campaign, covering 4,041 statutory cities and towns. Its predecessors were the “Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan” and before that the “Total Sanitation Campaign”.
  • It is reported that the idea was developed and initiated in March 2014 after a sanitation conference was organised by UNICEF India and the Indian Institute of Technology as part of the larger Total Sanitation Campaign, which the Indian government launched in 1999.
  • The government is aiming to achieve an Open-Defecation Free (ODF) India by 2 October 2019, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, by constructing 12 million toilets in rural India.
  • India’s sanitation crisis has started to improve drastically ever since the launch of ‘Swachh Bharat Abhiyan’ India can replicate Singapore’s success story for achieving benefits out of SBA

Singapore model

  • The campaign is similar to the one launched in Singapore post-independence when open defecation was a common sight in the 1950s-60s
  • Even sophisticated urban areas had primitive toilet systems where human waste was collected manually in buckets and disposed directly into nearby waterways
  • Singapore did not have the time or resources to build an expensive curative health-care system
  • It, therefore, invested in toilet hygiene and clean water as a preventive health strategy, which was much cheaper and far more effective
  • By focussing on providing clean water and sanitation, Singapore created a healthy and productive workforce, ready for international business and commerce by the 2000s

Challenges in India

  • The major challenges of sanitation in India arise from puritan religious beliefs
  • Many people in India view toilets as impure and refrain from installing them within their household premises
  • Most defecate in the open as it is something they have grown accustomed to since their childhood
  • No matter how many toilets the government builds, the country will never be able to become open defecation free until people start using them
  • Many toilets already constructed under SBM have become defunct and non-usable due to various reasons pertaining to the quality of construction and scarcity of water.

2. Law ministry response to the Parliamentary Standing Committee

Context

  • The Law Ministry on Thursday said there was no proposal as of now to increase the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 65 to 67 and of High Court judges from 62 to 65.
  • The Ministry was responding to the recommendation of a Parliamentary Standing Committee that raising the retirement age of judges would help retain the existing judges, which in turn would help in reducing both vacancy and pendency of cases in short run.
  • The committee, in its report tabled in Parliament on Thursday, raised concern over the large number of vacancies of judges in High Courts.

Background

  • In August 2010, then Union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily introduced the Constitution (114th Amendment) Bill, 2010 in the Lok Sabha.
  • The Bill, which sought to increase the retirement age of High Court judges to 65, could not be taken up for consideration in Parliament and lapsed with the dissolution of the 15th Lok Sabha.

Reasons for Judicial Delays at a glance

  • Large number of unfilled judicial vacancies
  • A long drawn judicial process
  • Often witnesses are not willing to come forward.
  • The process concerning criminal cases – reports such as medical reports, forensic reports- also takes time
  • Fast growing population
  • An increasing number of states and central laws
  • Mounting number of appeals

‘Quota for women judges not under consideration’

  • The Law Ministry on Thursday said there was no proposal to introduce reservation for women in the appointment of judges in the higher judiciary.
  • The Ministry’s response came on an observation of a Parliamentary Standing Committee that only six women judges have been appointed in the Supreme Court till date.
  • In the report tabled in Parliament, the Committee recommended that the Ministry should make suitable measures to include more women judges in both higher and subordinate judiciary.
  • The Committee reiterated its recommendation in its ‘Eighty-fourth Report on Demand for Grants’ that the strength of women judges should be around 50% of the total strength of judges.
  • The Ministry said judges were appointed in the Supreme Court and High Courts as per Articles 125 and 217 of the Constitution, which did not provide for reservation for any caste, class or gender.
  • The government has, however, been requesting the Chief Justices of the High Courts that while sending proposals for the appointment of judges, due consideration be given to suitable candidates belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities and women.
  • While such requests have been made to ensure a fair representation for different sections of society in the higher judiciary, the Ministry said: “There is no proposal for amendment to Articles 124 and 217 of the Constitution”.

3. ‘RERAs will be toothless without judicial powers’

Context

  • Several Real Estate Regulatory Authorities (RERAs) are pushing for more enforcement power, similar to what is enjoyed by consumer forums, including the authority to issue arrest warrants.
  • At the first meeting of a new RERA implementation committee held on Thursday, there was broad consensus that the RERA Act needed to be amended to further empower them. The details would, however, only be worked out by January 22, according to those who attended the meeting.

The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016

  • Real estate, widely considered to be a major asset class, has been traditionally plagued with opaque practices, information asymmetry, and a muddled regulatory framework in India.
  • One of the frequently cited reasons for the current slowdown in residential sector is the trust deficit between customers and developers. For the past many years, developers have not been able to deliver on their commitments, seriously denting the confidence of potential buyers.
  • The Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act 2016, aimed at bringing in transparency and redefining the engagement between various stakeholders, can be a potential game-changing event. The Act’s preamble details the legislative intention which is to primarily protect the interests of consumers and bring in efficiency and transparency in the sale/purchase of real estate.
  • The Consumer Protection Act, 1986, allows consumer forums to assume the powers of a first class judicial magistrate for the trial of offences under the Act. RERAs are asking that the RERA Act be amended to give them similar powers.

Key provisions

  • Now there is a requirement for developers to register projects with RERA prior to any advertisement and sale. Developers are also expected to have all sanction plans approved and regulatory clearances in place prior to commencement of sale. Subsequent changes have to be approved by a majority of buyers and the regulator.
  • The Act ambitiously stipulates an electronic system, maintained on the website of RERA, where developers are expected to update on a quarterly basis the status of their projects, and submit regular audits and architectural reports. Notably, non-registration of projects is a serious matter. If there is non-compliance, RERA has the power to order up to three years imprisonment of the promoters of a project.
  • It requires developers to maintain separate escrow accounts in relation to each project and deposit 70% of the collections in such an account to ensure that funds collected are utilised only for the specific project. The Act also requires real estate brokers and agents to register themselves with the regulator.
  • The Act also attempts to establish an adjudicatory mechanism for the speedy redress of disputes.
  • RERA and the Appellate Tribunal are expected to decide on complaints within an ambitious period of 60 days. But no legislation can protect the interest of only one class. As one of the largest job creators, the real estate sector contributes almost 6% towards the GDP. Mindful of this, the Act seeks to assist developers by giving the regulator powers to make recommendations to State governments to create a single window clearance for approvals in a time-bound manner.

C. GS3 Related

Category: ECONOMY

1. Graft, securing funding main challenges for start-ups: study

Highlights of the study

  • A large number of start-ups, small and medium enterprises view corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies, securing loans as well as funding as major challenges in 2019, according to a report by citizens’ engagement forum LocalCircles.
  • The report, based on responses from over 15,000 start-ups, SMEs and entrepreneurs, found 45% respondents saying that corruption or bureaucratic inefficiencies as the top challenge, followed by securing loans and funding (37%), and business growth (18%).
  • Angel tax is one area that falls under corruption and bureaucratic inefficiencies as it takes the focus of entrepreneurs away from building a product or service to responding to tax notices and filing appeals, something that start-ups can clearly do without.
  • Several start-ups and angel investors have raised concerns over notices received from the authorities related to taxation of angel funds. The Centre has set up a panel to look into the taxation issues faced by start-ups and angel investors. The study noted that 38% of the respondents said they had received at least one notice.

Angel Tax

  • Angel Tax is a 30% tax that is levied on the funding received by startups from an external investor. However, this 30% tax is levied when startups receive angel funding at a valuation higher than its ‘fair market value’. It is counted as income to the company and is taxed.
  • The tax, under section 56(2)(viib), was introduced by in 2012 to fight money laundering. The stated rationale was that bribes and commissions could be disguised as angel investments to escape taxes. But given the possibility of this section being used to harass genuine startups, it was rarely invoked.
  • There is no definitive or objective way to measure the ‘fair market value’ of a startup. Investors pay a premium for the idea and the business potential at the angel funding stage. However, tax officials seem to be assessing the value of the startups based on their net asset value at one point. Several startups say that they find it difficult to justify the higher valuation to tax officials.
  • In a notification dated May 24, 2018, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) had exempted angel investors from the Angel Tax clause subject to fulfilment of certain terms and conditions, as specified by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). However, despite the exemption notification, there are a host of challenges that startups are still faced with, in order to get this exemption.

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. China’s probe lands on far side of moon, sends images

Context

  • A Chinese space probe touched down on the far side of the moon on Thursday, China’s space agency said, hailing the event as a historic first and a major achievement for the country’s space programme.
  • The Chang’e-4 lunar probe, launched in December, made the “soft landing” at 02.26 GMT and transmitted the first-ever “close range” image of the far side of the moon, the China National Space Administration said.

Chang’e-4 lunar probe

  • According to experts, landing on the far side of the moon is undoubtedly one of the most challenging missions ever launched by any of the world’s superpowers.
  • China’s Chang’e-4 – a first probe ever to explore the dark side of the Moon, marking another milestone in its ambitious space programme
  • The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, rotating at the same rate that it orbits our planet, so the far side is never visible from Earth. The probe, the Chang’e-4, has made the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the Moon. Previous spacecraft have seen the far side of the Moon, but none has landed on it.
  • The far side of the moon known as ‘South Pole-Aitken Basin’ still remains a mystery among space scientists and by sending a probe there, China will outdo the historical achievements of the US and USSR.
  • Chang’e 4 is the fourth mission in the country’s lunar mission series which is being named after the Chinese moon goddess.
  • The tasks of the Chang’e-4 probe include low-frequency radio astronomical observation, surveying the terrain and landforms, detecting the mineral composition, and measuring the neutron radiation and neutral atoms to study the environment on the far side of the moon.

2. Meet the ‘snowman’ floating in space

Context

  • NASA shares detailed images taken by New Horizons of the distant celestial body called Ultima Thule
  • New Horizons was launched on 19 January 2006, and has been travelling through space for the past nine years. New Horizon’s core science mission is to map the surfaces of Pluto and Charon, to study Pluto’s atmosphere and to take temperature readings.
  • On January 1, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft became the first explorer to fly past the mysterious object- Ultima Thule, located some 4 billion miles from Earth.

Ultima Thule

  • Ultima Thule, an icy celestial body, is aptly shaped like a giant snowman, NASA scientists have announced.
  • This is a historic flyby of the farthest, and quite possibly the oldest, cosmic body ever explored by humankind.
  • Ultima Thule is located in the Kuiper belt in the outermost regions of the Solar System, beyond the orbit of Neptune.
  • It measures approximately 30 km in diameter, and is irregularly shaped.
  • Ultima Thule has a reddish color, probably caused by exposure of hydrocarbons to sunlight over billions of years.
  • Ultima Thule belongs to a class of Kuiper belt objects called the “cold classicals”, which have nearly circular orbits with low inclinations to the solar plane.

D. GS4 Related

Nothing here for today!!!

E. Editorials

Category: SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

1. Dark side of the moon (Chang’e-4 spacecraft)

Editorial Analysis:

  • Recently, China joined a select group of countries with successful missions to the moon, when its spacecraft, Chang’e-4, successfully made a landing at ‘10.26 on January 3’, 2019 according to the China National Space Administration.
  • The Chang’e-4 spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess.
  • The spacecraft, Chang’e-4 landed at a spot on the moon’s far side, the Von Kármán crater, which is untouched by earlier missions from earth.
  • After landing, the Chang’e-4 spacecraft relayed a close-up image of the ‘far’ side of the moon through the communication relay satellite Queqiao.
  • The Queqiao satellite was launched in May 2018 by China for the very purpose of helping the Chang’e-4 communicate with earth, as a direct communication with it is not possible from the moon’s far side, which never faces earth.

What is the Chang’e-4 carrying?

  • The Chang’e-4 mission carries payloads, of which two are in collaboration with Germany and Sweden, respectively.
  • The instruments include cameras, low-frequency radio spectrum analyser, lunar neutron and radiation dose detectors, and many more.
  • Experts believe that among other things, the mission could pave the way to setting up a radio telescope on the far side of the moon.

Understanding the Moon:

  • Considering that the earth is right next door to the moon, we know precious little about it.
  • Its formation and early evolution present mysteries which, if understood, could guide us in planetary studies, and help in understanding exoplanets.
  • The near side of the moon, which faces earth, has dark patterns; the far side, turned away, is marked with circular spots that are craters formed by meteorite collisions.
  • Further, the moon’s near side is believed to have a thinner shell, so that when meteorites bombarded it they cracked its shell, releasing lava which gushed out and covered traces of the impact and left dark patches.
  • Being thicker, the far side did not face such an erasure and bears the marks of the crater impacts.
  • Experts believe that this mission could verify these theories and discover the reason behind these dichotomies.
  • Also, it is important to note that the moon’s far side also differs from the near side in that it is shielded from all the radio waves emanating from earth.
  • Communication devices and satellites have made it too noisy for radio astronomers to easily and accurately interpret signals.
  • The near side of the moon also suffers from this problem of noise.
  • On the other hand, the far side is a quiet place and a haven for earthly aspirations to set up a radio telescope that could reveal astronomical mysteries, such as the structure of the universe shortly after the Big Bang.
  • China has now joined the U.S. and the former USSR as the only countries to have made a “soft landing” on the moon.
  • Experts believe that beyond underlining China’s technological advances, Chang’e-4 could herald a new chapter in lunar exploration.

Category: POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

1. A case of unprincipled criminalisation (Triple Talaq Bill)

Editorial Analysis:

  • Some experts opine that the content of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018 (Triple Talaq Bill) reflects a sectarian overtone that even attempted to mislead the public by distorting the Supreme Court judgment in Shayara Bano’s case (2017).
  • These experts take the critical view that in the ‘statement of objects and reasons’ attached to the Bill, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that in spite of the Supreme Court setting aside the practice of talaq-e-biddat in Shayara Bano, there have been reports of divorce by way of such means.
  • It is important to note that the Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad described the Bill as an instance of “state action to give effect to the order of the Supreme Court and to redress the grievances of victims of illegal divorce”.
  • Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad also lamented that the Supreme Court verdict “has not worked as any deterrent in bringing down the number of divorces by this practice among certain Muslims”.

A Case of Disproportionate punishment?

    • Some experts point out that the Bill is a classic case of an unfair and deceptive legislative move with a populist agenda, which in a country like India should call for a novel and effective judicial scrutiny.
    • First of all, in the emblematic judgment in Shayara Bano the majority on the Bench had invalidated the practice by terming it as unconstitutional.
    • The simple and plain effect of the verdict is that the pronouncement of triple talaq is a nullity having no legal effect at all on a subsisting marriage, and despite the husband’s gesture, the matrimonial bond would remain intact, without being dissolved, in the eye of the law.
    • Therefore, the Bill proposes to criminalise an act which does not exist in the eye of the law.
    • Thus, experts opine that the disproportionate punishment of imprisonment for three years for a civil wrong without even a civil consequence due to the Supreme Court’s judgment is antithetical to the very idea of principled criminalisation.
    • Paradoxically, it was in 2018 that the Supreme Court has ostensibly developed this concept by way of the verdicts on homosexuality (Navtej Singh Johar v Union of India) and adultery (Joseph Shine v. Union of India).
    • Secondly, the majority verdict in Shayara Bano did not direct the government or Parliament to criminalise triple talaq or “to give effect to the order”, as implied in the Bill. Experts opine that there was no need to do so either, as the judgment got effectuated on its own.
  • The judgment had no intention to create any deterrent, since the very act of triple talaq is void to begin with, according to the Supreme Court.
  • Thus, critics opine that the Bill thus tries to distort the intent and content of what the court said in Shayara Bano.
  • An analogy between criminalisation of dowry and triple talaq does not make sense. In the case of dowry, transaction is a reality, whereas in triple talaq, after the top court holding that it is a nullity, there is no act at all in the legal sense to constitute an offence.
  • Critics further take the view that the Bill assumes validity for an action which the court invalidated, and as such the very thematic premise for the Bill is artificial, erroneous and even contemptuous.
  • The settled legal principle in India that no ill motive could be attributed to legislation would require a revisit, when politics overweighs constitutionalism.
  • Thirdly, criminalisation of triple talaq, can only motivate a “clever” husband to resort to other methods of divorce which do not fall within the ambit of the Bill or to simply desert his wife. Thus critics take the view that the Bill does not serve the Muslim woman’s interest.
  • Critics also take the view that by trying to segregate a particular mode of divorce in a particular community and to punish the men of that community alone, the Centre is trying to shatter two fundamental tenets of the Indian Constitution — equality in the eye of the law and secularism.

F. Tidbits

1. SC shocked at chaining of inmates in U.P. mental asylum

 

  • The Supreme Court on Thursday summoned Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta after getting to know that patients in a mental asylum in Badayun district of Uttar Pradesh are kept in chains.
  • A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and S. Abdul Nazeer asked Mr. Mehta to take immediate action, saying, “A mentally-ill person is also a human being and has dignity.”
  • The plight of the inmates in the “faith-based mental asylum” was brought to the court’s attention by lawyer Gaurav Kumar Bansal, who said shackling them in iron chains went against the provisions of the Mental Health Act, 2017, and violated their fundamental right to a dignified life under Article 21 of the Constitution. He also submitted photographs of the inmates.
  • The court said that even if the patients were prone to violence, the answer “is not to keep them chained or even isolated.”
  • The petitioner argued that according to a WHO report, India has the highest prevalence of mental illness globally. According to the National Mental Health Survey, 2016, around 14% of the population required active mental health intervention and around 2% suffered from acute and life-debilitating mental disorders.

2. Yogi’s fresh fiat to District Magistrates on stray cattle

 

  • Under pressure to tackle the menace of stray cattle, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed all District Magistrates in the State to ensure that stray cattle and destitute cows are sent to shelter homes “under any condition” by January 10, a week’s time.
  • The cow shelter, popularly known as “kanji house”, has also been renamed as the Gau Sanrakshan Kendra or the Cow Conservation Centre.
  • In a meeting held with all DMs through videoconferencing late on Wednesday, Mr. Adityanath instructed them to transport stray cattle and destitute cows to these centres and ensure their nutrition and security. If these centres are without proper walls, they should be provided with fences while caretakers should also be appointed.
  • Adityanath’s fresh instructions come less than 48 hours after the State Cabinet headed by him decided to levy additional cess on excise items to fund “temporary” cow shelters in both urban and rural areas.
  • It comes amid uproar by farmers that stray cattle are damaging their crops and that the menace has increased since the BJP came to power in U.P. in March, 2017.
  • Fed up with the problem, villagers in Aligarh and Firozabad last week even locked up hundreds of stray cattle in government health centres and schools to draw the government’s attention. In urban areas, many road accidents have been blamed on stray cattle.
  • However, Mr. Adityanath has directed officials to take tough action against those who have abandoned their cattle or tie their animals in government buildings or schools.

3. Child care homes don’t paint a rosy picture

 

  • A pan-India survey of childcare institutions (CCI) conducted by the Centre has highlighted poor safety and security measures, inadequate monitoring of these facilities, and a lack of effort to trace parents of missing children sent to these homes.
  • The full report of the survey titled ‘Mapping and Review Exercise of Child Care Institutions’, conducted between December 2015 and March 2017, was recently made public by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD).
  • The report also says that the lack of infrastructure facilities is “glaring” and finds that more than 1,000 homes did not have a dormitory for children, raising questions about sleeping arrangements made for them.
  • The report finds that even though there are several mechanisms for monitoring, regular inspections of these shelters were not being carried out.

4. Maggi: SC revives suit against Nestle

 

  • The Supreme Court spelt trouble for the Indian branch of the Swiss food giant Nestle on Thursday by resuscitating a ₹640-crore class-action suit filed by the government on behalf of thousands of consumers of the iconic Maggi noodles.
  • The suit was filed by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in August 2015 against Nestle India Limited on grounds of “unfair trade practices, sale of defective goods and sale of Maggi Oats Noodles to the public without product approval.”
  • The suit was filed under Section 12(1)(d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. This provision allows the Centre or a State, either in its individual capacity or as a representative of the interests of the consumers, to file a complaint in the consumer forum.
  • The department claimed that Nestle was liable to pay ₹55 crore along with punitive damages of ₹355.4 crore for “gross negligence, apathy and callousness” on its part. Thus, the government demanded a total of ₹639.96 crore.
  • On Thursday, a Bench led by Justice D.Y Chandrachud revived the suit in the NCDRC, which would hear it on the basis of a report filed by the Mysuru-based Central Food Technological Research Institute in 2016.

G. Prelims Fact

1. Improved Light Combat Aircraft gets green light for production

Context

  • On December 31, Light Combat Aircraft ‘Tejas’ quietly progressed towards manufacture in an enhanced, battle standard format.
  • A new ‘limited’ clearance from military airworthiness certifier CEMILAC for the Indian fighter green-lights its production in a superior lethal version, multiple sources associated with the LCA programme confirmed.
  • Hindustan Aeronautics Limted (HAL), which is mandated to produce the LCAs for the Indian Air Force (IAF), aims to get the first aircraft out in late 2019 in the just-cleared standard, its Chairman and Managing Director R. Madhavan said.

LCA-TEJAS

  • The LCA Tejas is an Indian single-seat, single-jet engine, multi-role light fighter developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
  • Its design is highly manoeuvrable, with a tailless, compound delta wing configuration. It came from the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) programme, which began in the 1980s to replace India’s ageing MiG-21 fighters.
  • Later, the LCA was officially named “Tejas”, meaning “Radiant” by the then Prime Minister.
  • In 1969, the Indian government accepted the recommendation by its Aeronautics Committee that Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) should design and develop a fighter aircraft around a proven engine.

2. Go for Kadaknath chicken, scientist advises Team India

Context

  • The Indian cricket team does not have to adopt a vegan diet to avoid fat and cholesterol if it eats the meat of the famous Kadaknath chickens of Madhya Pradesh.
  • In a letter to Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and the Board of Control for Cricket in India written on the eve of the Sydney Test match, the principal scientist of Jhabua’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra, or agriculture knowledge centre, has suggested that the Kadaknath or Kali Masi chicken could be a healthy addition to the team’s diet.
  • “I read on the internet that Virat Kohli used to enjoy grilled chicken, but had given it up because of the high fat and cholesterol content, and so the team has adopted a vegan diet,” KVK head I.S. Tomar told. “So I decided to write him a letter about the unique qualities of our black chickens.”

Kadaknath Chicken

  • Madhya Pradesh has got the Geographical Indication (GI) Tag for Kadaknath Chicken.
  • Kadaknath is a black-feathered chicken known for its flavorful meat and found mainly in the districts of Madhya Pradesh.
  • The breed is native to Jhabua, Alirajpur and parts of Dhar district of eastern Madhya Pradesh.
  • The protein-rich meat of Kadaknath, chicks and eggs are sold at a much higher rate than other varieties of chicken.
  • The Kadaknath is popular mainly for its adaptability, and the good-tasting black meat, which is believed to have medicinal properties
  • In the recent past, the Madhya Pradesh government had launched a mobile app called ‘MP Kadaknath’.
  • The Kali Masi is a local breed of chicken which is completely black in colour: feathers, flesh and even bones. The chicken, traditionally reared by Jhabua’s adivasi communities.

H. Practice Questions for UPSC Prelims Exam

Question 1. With reference to “Kadaknath chicken”, recently in news, which of the following 
statement(s) is/are correct?
  1. The famous Kadaknath chicken meat from Jhabua district of Rajasthan has now got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
  2. Kadaknath is locally known as Kalamasi and is used for treatment of many diseases, besides being considered an aphrodisiac.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

  1. 1 only
  2. 2 only
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. Neither 1 nor 2

See

Answer
Question 2. Ujh River was seen in news, is a tributary of the river:
  1. Ravi
  2. Sutlej
  3. Kishanganga
  4. Kaveri

See

Answer
Question 3. Consider the following statements:
  1. Article 19 of the Indian Constitution shall be suspended, if any part of the territory is under threat due to armed rebellion.
  2. Article 20 and 21 of the Indian Constitution are not suspended even during National Emergency.

Which of the above statement(s) is/are correct?

  1. Only 1
  2. Only 2
  3. Both 1 and 2
  4. None of the above

See

Answer

I. Practice Questions for UPSC Mains Exam

  1. Many political parties and politicians have called for reforms in the GST structure and there have been calls to bring GST 2.0, a revised and more progressive GST regime. In this context discuss the need for reforms in the current GST structure. (12. 5 Marks; 200 words)
  2. Online shopping has witnessed a very high growth rate in India and is bound to further increase in future. Indian government has recently issued some new rules for e-commerce. In this context discuss the new rules and their possible impact on the various stakeholders. (12.5 Marks; 200 words)

See previous CNA